What’s Really At Stake With Gun Reform
Over the past several years, we have witnessed alarming moves that assault the spirit of liberty that our nation was created to embody and the nature of justice for which it should aspire to be. This past January, when many state legislatures began new sessions, the speed of this troubling trend hastened. We shared in a previous newsletter about ridiculous dress code rules made in Missouri’s House that specifically targeted female legislature members. We watch many red states continue to impede women’s rights to bodily autonomy due to the legal vacancy in the overturn of Roe v. Wade; Florida’s Senate recently passed a bill banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Women’s rights to bodily autonomy are being ripped away.
If you are on social media, you may have seen jokes about how women’s bodies are more regulated than guns. To think these things are unrelated is naive. To consider the frequent impediment to the rights of women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and other marginalized communities for the sake of keeping dangerous firearms without regulation is naive. To think children won’t be collateral for the sake of someone else’s ability to continue to own firearms is naive. This is a symptom of the far-right’s fear of losing a privilege of power that had gone unchecked and unregulated for centuries. It is now being confronted and reckoned with at a larger scale than it has ever faced previously.
With the avenues of communication today provided by computers, smartphones, and social media, marginalized groups can speak out and mobilize with incredible speed and reach than could have previously been achieved. In the last election, young voters could mobilize over apps like TikTok and ultimately prevent the “Red Wave” many in the far-right were fighting for. Just a week ago, the CEO of TikTok sat before a Republican-led committee hearing under the guise of security concerns and the belief it should be banned. Yet, where are the calls to ban other social media apps like Facebook, a social media platform, just as it is not popular with the dominant generation of TikTok users?
Three Tennessee state legislatures were stripped of committees earlier this week after joining gun violence protests and potential expulsion. Resolutions have been filed against Reps. Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin Pearson after they led chants from the House floor with supporters in the gallery. Hundreds of protesters packed the Capitol last week, calling for the Republican-led Statehouse to pass gun control measures in response to the shooting at Covenant School that resulted in the deaths of six people. When Tim Burchett, one of Tennessee’s representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, was asked if measures could be made on gun reform, he stated, “We’re not going to fix it,” and added as for why, “Criminals are going to be criminals.”
The battle for gun control has never been about the right to bear arms. If it were, the collective senses would have opened their eyes at Sandy Hook. It is about the fight over one group’s hold on an unchecked power they are unwilling to relinquish. It is about their unwillingness to surrender their ability to “put in place” every other group. It is about the prevention of any power sharing. They believe they, and only they, are entitled to the authority to dictate to rules of the world. For a long, they have held power by oppressing the power and freedom of others. As they face the possibility of losing control, they fear oppression is being put back on them. This is why instead of choosing to protect the lives of their constituents, they instead spark up wars against women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. This is why this fight has not found a resolution and will not find a solution for quite some time.